Joe Satriani has confirmed that he has been in discussions with Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth about taking part in VAN HALEN tribute shows.
Earlier this month, former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted revealed that he almost joined an all-star VAN HALEN tribute project six months ago.
Newsted said that VAN HALEN drummer Alex Van Halen already recruited Joe Satriani to play guitar, and the two were searching for a bass player for a possible VAN HALEN tour.
Newsted said he agreed to go to California to jam with the guys and see if it felt right, but he eventually realized that it would be impossible to do justice to VAN HALEN‘s legacy.
“How could you?” Jason said. “There’s nobody that can top it, so how do you show it honor? I didn’t want it to be viewed as a money grab. And then it kind of just all fizzled.”
Satriani was asked about Newsted‘s comments in a new interview with the “Rock Of Nations With Dave Kinchen” classic rock show.
Joe said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I’ve been talking with Alex and Dave for about a year about doing something — a tour, something like that — that was gonna be a true tribute to [late VAN HALEN guitarist] Eddie [Van Halen] and the VAN HALEN legacy.
“For me, it was a terrifying prospect of doing something like that, but I realized that it was something that would be a real labor of love for me. I was just so honored to take on the challenge.
“It’s very complicated. And all I can really say about it is that if it does happen, I know we’ll make it the greatest thing ever for the fans and we’ll all celebrate together not only the great Eddie Van Halen but the legacy that that band created, the amazing amount of music and the goodwill and good vibes they created as a band.”
Satriani went on to say that he was surprised to learn that Jason had revealed the project’s existence before everything was finalized and an official announcement was made.
He said: “These things are always happening in the music industry, and you’re supposed to keep very quiet about it [laughs], because sometimes they don’t work out. There’s usually about 10 crazy ideas that float around and musicians are always, like, ‘Okay, I won’t say anything about this ’cause it may not work out. I don’t wanna hurt this person’s feelings or disrupt any other business plans.’ So, yeah, we were all pretty shocked that Jason wanted to go public with it ’cause we were all sworn to silence. [Laughs]”
On what it was like to be in regular contact with Alex while putting together all the pieces for a possible VAN HALEN tour,” Joe said: “I have to say that just getting to know Alex has been really wonderful. He’s a great human being, and, obviously, I can’t imagine losing a brother that way, so soon. And they were really close; their relationship was really quite unique.”
As for Roth, he said: “I don’t know Dave that well. I think I’ve only met him once — maybe when Steve [Vai] invited us to see the David Lee Roth tour. I was in Australia with Mick Jagger at the time, so we all went; it was quite an experience. But, yeah, I’ve only spoken to Dave on the phone a number of times over the last — I don’t know — 25 years or so. But he’s David Lee Roth; they’re VAN HALEN. It’s a big deal.
“Like I said before, if it ever does happen, it will be a great honor and a terrifying challenge,” Satriani added. “Eddie, you can’t reproduce what he did — you can’t. You can learn the notes and you can be taught all the fingerings and get the gear and everything, but there was only one Eddie and he was the epitome of an original genius. But if it does happen, I know that Alex will make sure that it’s the right way to do it.”
Legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen died on October 6 at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Guitarist died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.